World Cosplay Summit Team USA Chosen at New York Anime Fest

Dec 20th 2007
WINNERS OF THE NYAF MASQUERADE TO TRAVEL TO JAPAN
TO COMPETE IN THE WORLD COSPLAY SUMMIT FINALS

Norwalk, CT, December 20, 2007: The New York Anime Festival (NYAF) today officially designated Renee Gloger and Sonnya Paz -- the winners of its Anime Insider and World Cosplay Summit Masquerade -- as Cosplay Team USA. Renee and Sonnya, dressed as characters from the anime series Magic Knight Rayearth , topped over 40 other contestants from across America dressed as both classic and contemporary anime characters in an exhibition of stage performance and costuming precision held at the New York Anime Festival. The two contestants have won the title of Team USA. They will now travel to Japan to compete against cosplayers from around the globe in the World Cosplay Summit Finals in Summer 2008.

The World Cosplay Summit, an annual international costume competition, is the equivalent of the Olympics of Cosplay, and Renee and Sonnya will go up against teams from countries including Brazil, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, and Thailand until one is crowned the best in the world.

The women won the title of Team USA at the New York Anime Festival, held December 7-9, 2007 at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan. NYAF was a showcase of the best of Japanese pop culture, including the latest anime, manga, cinema, music, games, and anime-influenced comics, animation, and films from around the world. It was organized by the creators of New York Comic Con.



Sonnya (L) and Renee (R) in their award-winning costumes. Photos by Anna Fischer. Click for high-res versions.

Renee Gloger from Queens, NY has been cosplaying since 2001 and is particularly fond of creating costumes based on video game characters. She perpetually challenges herself with ever-more-difficult costumes, and the costume she wore at the New York Anime Festival -- Umi from Magic Knight Rayearth -- is one she's wanted to create since childhood.

Sonnya Paz, also from Queens, first dressed up as the character Belldandy from Ah! My Goddess for Halloween in 2001 and has been crafting anime-based costumes ever since. Sonnya's fond of dressing as "magical girl" characters and labored especially hard on her New York Anime Festival costume -- Hikaru from Magic Knight Rayearth -- because of Renee's passion for the series.

"Being in the World Cosplay Summit is a dream come true," Sonnya said. "And, even more, I'm honored to share this momentous event with my best friend."

Renee and Sonnya have set up an online journal located at teamusa2008.livejournal.com where fans can track their progress as they prepare for the World Cosplay Summit Finals. The New York Anime Festival will be launching a mini-site dedicated to Team USA in January 2008.
ABOUT COSPLAY:
Cosplay is short for "costume play" and is one of the most vivid and creative aspects of anime fandom. At its center is the creation and wearing of costumes based on a fan's favorite anime or manga character. A Masquerade -- part talent show and part fashion show -- is an event where cosplayers before perform often-elaborate skits in front of an audience.

ABOUT THE WORLD COSPLAY SUMMIT:
The World Cosplay Summit began in the Fall of 2003. Born from the concept that cosplayers play a leading role in introducing Japanese manga and animation to people around the world, the event wanted to bring international cosplayers "home" to Japan to showcase their costumes and skill. The event is held annually, with preliminary competitions taking place around the world -- and the Championships taking place each summer in Japan. Each year, judges include creators of some of Japan's most iconic anime and manga, and past judges have included Leiji Matsumoto, Go Nagai, and Monkey Punch. In 2007, Brazil, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, Thailand and Japan all participated in the World Cosplay Summit. The winners of the Anime Insider and World Cosplay Summit Masquerade crowned at the New York Anime Festial will fly to Japan to serve as Team USA in the 2008 Championships. For more, please visit http://www.tv-aichi.co.jp/wcs/e/.

ABOUT ANIME INSIDER:
No longer an underground experience, Japanese animation and comics are now a mainstream phenomenon, and Anime Insider is the #1 independent anime and manga magazine in America. AI appeals to modern anime fans because it understands them and gives them what they want -- content straight from Japan in the form of exclusive previews, in-depth interviews, photo tours, and cultural lessons. The magazine goes beyond coverage of the hottest anime and manga in the US to offer readers a personal connection to their passion in the form of online interaction with the magazine and supports that personal connection with year-round convention appearances. Each monthly issue of Anime Insider is loaded with in-depth features exploring today's hottest anime, going behind the scenes on-site at Japanese animation studios, getting interviews with creators and directors, featuring exclusive manga previews, and much more. Discover more at anime-insider.com.

ABOUT THE NEW YORK ANIME FESTIVAL:
The New York Anime Festival took place December 7-9, 2007 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan and was organized by Reed Exhibitions, the creators of New York Comic Con. The New York Anime Festival showcased the best of anime pop culture, including the latest anime, manga, Japanese cinema, music, and games, and anime-influenced comics, animation, and films from around the world. The festival featured exclusive and extensive screenings, a gala cosplay masquerade, sessions with the some of the biggest names in anime from Japan, Asia, and America, and explored the Japanese cultural experience with displays of both traditional and cutting-edge Japanese life.

The New York Anime Festival was sponsored by ADV Films, Anime Innovation Tokyo, Anime Insider, Anime Network, Anime News Network, AnimeNEXT, BookExpo America, Diamond Book Distributors, Entertainment Consumers Association, FUNimation Entertainment, ICv2, ImaginAsian, Kinokuniya Bookstores, License! Global, Manga Video, New York Comic Con, NEW YORK - TOKYO, Newtype USA, Publishers Weekly, Starz Media, THINK Corp, TOKYOPOP, Video Business, VIZ Media, Wedge Holdings, Wizards of the Coast, and the World Cosplay Summit.

The New York Anime Festival's Guests of Honor included Peter Fernandez, Corinne Orr, Kobun Shizuno, and Aimee Major Steinberger. The New York Anime Festival's musical guests included HAPPYFUNSMILE, UNICORN TABLE, and Voltaire.

Further information can be found at www.newyorkanimefestival.com.

ABOUT REED EXHIBITIONS:
The New York Anime Festival is operated by Reed Exhibitions, the world's leading events organizer. In 2006, Reed brought together over six million industry professionals from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today, Reed events are held in 34 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, and organized by 37 fully staffed offices.

Reed organizes a wide range of events, including exhibitions, conferences, congresses, and meetings. Its portfolio of over 460 events serves 52 industry sectors, including aerospace and defense, building and construction, design, electronics, energy, oil and gas, entertainment, food and hospitality, gifts, healthcare, IT/telecoms, jewelry, manufacturing, marketing and business services, pharmaceuticals, property, publishing, security, sport and recreation, transport and logistics, and travel.

Working closely with professional bodies, trade associations, and government departments, Reed ensures that each and every event is targeted and relevant to industry needs. As a result, many Reed events are market leaders in their field.

Reed Exhibitions is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, a FTSE-100 company and world-leading publisher and information provider. In 2005, Reed Elsevier made adjusted profit before taxation of £1,002 million on turnover of £5,166 million.




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